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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Rains from Hurricane Florence lashed the Carolina coast, with the storm growing in size and packing sustained winds of up to 100 miles an hour.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm was likely to maintain its intensity until the eye made landfall early Friday. The storm is forecast to crawl inland, drenching a wide area with extremely heavy rains, up to 40 inches in some parts.
In Southeast Asia, millions are bracing for Typhoon Mangkhut, a strong storm that could reach the Philippines by Friday. (Curious why Mangkhut is called a typhoon while Florence is called a hurricane? It’s all about location.)
2. President Trump falsely accused Democrats of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, rejecting the local government’s assessment that the storm had resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Above, a memorial for Maria’s victims.
This week, Mr. Trump praised himself and his team for an “incredibly successful” job done in its response in Puerto Rico, though there is little evidence to support that claim.
Separately, Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, appeared to face some extra scrutiny after Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, referred information involving him to federal investigators on Thursday. She declined to make public what the matter, dating to his time in high school, involved.
3. New Yorkers head to the polls today. Here are five things to look for, including the closely watched race to be the Democratic nominee for governor, between Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon, and the Democratic nomination for attorney general. The polls close at 9 p.m., and we’ll have live results.
Our Politics team has debuted a new newsletter designed to be a guiding hand to the issues and people reshaping the midterm elections. If you’re interested, you can sign up for it here.
4. A major shift in who’s coming to the U.S.
The foreign-born population in the United States has reached its highest share since 1910, according to government data released Thursday, and the new arrivals are more likely to come from Asia and to have college degrees than those who came in the past.
The new data comes at a time when the nation’s changing demography has become a flash point in American politics, spurred in part by President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric. But many assertions about a surge in Latin American immigrants did not hold up.
“We think of immigrants as being low-skilled workers from Latin America, but for recent arrivals that’s much less the case,” the study’s lead demographer said.
5. Census Bureau figures show that the nation’s economic recovery has largely skipped over the millions of Americans living below the poverty line.
Economists and advocates say that relatively modest gains that have been made over the last few years are fragile, endangered by the Trump administration’s policies and vulnerable to a long-overdue economic downturn.
“If this is the best we can do, it isn’t good,” said a poverty expert.
Separately, our reporters tracked down five of the people they spoke with in the throes of the 2008 recession. Here’s what they have to say 10 years later.
That’s how many children age 13 or younger were sexually abused by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany over the past seven decades, according to a new study.
Separately, Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into allegations that a West Virginia bishop sexually harassed adults, and has accepted his resignation. An American delegation of prelates met with Francis at Vatican City to ask for an investigation into former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is accused of abusing seminarians.
7. And in another high-profile investigation, Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating President Trump’s ties to Russia, has a novel P.R. strategy: silence.
Mr. Mueller has reason to be cautious, given a political climate where the subtlest remark can be blown into a scandal. Even if he were to speak publicly, his choice of news outlet and interviewer would most likely be scrutinized for signs of bias. So he’s letting his work speak for itself.
And if the silent strategy is a gamble, our reporter writes, then he is all in.
8. Sergei Skripal was not the only defector in Russia’s sights. The F.B.I. was alarmed when a suspected hit man showed up years ago in Florida.
Some agents voiced concern that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a former intelligence officer known to reserve scorn for defectors from their ranks, had sent an assassin to kill one he viewed as a turncoat.
Ultimately, that defector remained safe. But American intelligence officials have begun to reassess the danger facing former spies living in the U.S. after Mr. Skripal was poisoned in England in March. Above, the suspects in the Skripal poisonong.
9. “A new genocide.”
The fire this month that wiped out Brazil’s National Museum, home to the world’s largest archive of indigenous Brazilian culture and history, was a huge loss to archaeologists, scholars and scientists.
But it dealt a particular blow to descendants of Brazil’s oldest inhabitants, who had long fought to preserve their heritage.
“That place was like a memory, a computer hard drive, that at any moment, any ethnic group, from any people, could access to get information, to know where they were, to not feel lost,” one tribal leader said of the museum.
10. Finally, it turns out humans may have been artists for longer than we thought.
Archaeologists discovered a 73,000-year-old drawing, markings on the side of a stone flake, in a South African cave. It is the oldest drawing made by human hands yet found. The discovery may provide insight into the origins of humanity’s use of symbols: The nine red lines they found could reshape how we think about language, mathematics and civilization.
Have a great evening.
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